Dear Friend and fellow Seeker,

When I tell people about the ordeal I went through with my recent medical issues, they first ask me how I am doing now. (See last week's newsletter to learn what happened to me.)

But before I can answer, the person I am talking to emphatically tells me I should sue for medical malpractice.

While I do not intend to discuss with you any possible legal action I may or may not take, all the "Mike, you should sue" statements from friends, family, etc., got me thinking about whether the Celts had some sort of medical malpractice system.

I researched and am now ready to shed light on the evolution of medical accountability and two differing justice mechanisms.

Modern Medical Malpractice: A Complex Legal Framework

In the contemporary world, medical malpractice cases are governed by intricate legal systems that vary from country to country. While practices and regulations differ, some common aspects of modern medical malpractice include:

  1. Standard of Care: In modern medicine, healthcare providers are held to a professional standard of care. If they deviate from accepted medical practices and this deviation harms the patient, they may be liable for medical malpractice.
  2. Informed Consent: The doctrine of informed consent requires healthcare professionals to obtain the patient's consent after providing sufficient information about the proposed treatment, its risks, and alternatives. Failure to obtain informed consent can lead to legal consequences.
  3. Negligence and Duty of Care: Physicians and medical staff must exercise a duty of care toward their patients. When this duty is breached due to negligence or a failure to act reasonably, it may result in malpractice.
  4. Litigation and Compensation: Victims of medical malpractice can pursue legal action through civil litigation to seek compensation for damages, medical expenses, and emotional distress.

Irish Brehon Laws: An Ancient Approach to Justice

The following quote from the Brehon Academy gives a good overview of a physician's responsibilities under the Brehon Laws:

"These legal texts also reveal the important role of physicians in society and the legal aspects of healthcare in early Ireland. They show that physicians were accountable for their actions and responsible for their patient’s care, with legal liability for medical malpractice being a serious issue. Sick maintenance was also an essential part of healthcare, with physicians held responsible for their patient’s recovery." (1)

In contrast to modern laws, these ancient laws had a unique approach to handling medical malpractice:

  1. Restorative Justice: The Brehon laws emphasized restorative justice over punitive measures. Compensation was paid to the victim or their family to restore harmony rather than punishing the wrongdoer.
  2. Tripartite Agreement: A tripartite agreement was central to resolving medical malpractice disputes. It consisted of the physician, the patient, and the patient's family or kin, all involved in reaching a resolution.
  3. Medical Expertise: Brehon laws recognized the importance of skilled physicians and held them to high standards. Physicians were expected to possess adequate knowledge and experience, and if their actions resulted in harm, they could face severe financial penalties.
  4. Evidentiary Burden: The burden of proof rested with the patient or their family. They had to demonstrate that the harm caused was due to the physician's negligence.

Comparing the Two Systems

While both systems address medical malpractice, they differ significantly in their approach and objectives.

Modern medical malpractice laws focus on individual accountability and legal recourse to protect patient rights and ensure responsible medical practices.

In contrast, the ancient Brehon laws emphasized restoration and reconciliation among the parties involved.

While reflecting on the evolution of medical malpractice, it is crucial to recognize how the past can inform our understanding of contemporary legal systems.

I find this exploration of medical malpractice under the modern legal framework and the Irish Brehon laws interesting. I hope you do too!

On Monday, May 1, 2023, I released my free guide, "10 Celtic Practices to Level Up Your Mind and Relieve Anxiety and Depression."

All subscribers were sent their very own copy of my Celtic goodness. If you did not receive it, please let me know, and I will make sure that you do. You can contact me at

Also, if you know someone else who might be interested, please direct them to . Here they can sign up and receive their very own copy of the guide.

I am here to serve.

With a skeptical mind and an analytical eye,

—Mike Guarneri

"May the Road Rise to Meet You!"

Who is Mike?

Mike is a recovering accountant making his way through the world of Druid, Celtic, and Pagan traditions.

His goal is to uncover truly valuable ancient customs and practices that upgrade your mind (and life)—and here's the key—without any of the b.s. you find everywhere else!

P.S. - My awesome interview with Eimear Burke, Chief of the Order of Bard, Ovates, and Druids, is available on YouTube and your favorite podcast platforms. Check it out, you won't regret it!

(1) Academy, Brehon. “Ancient Irish Medical Practices: Exploring Early Irish Medicine under the Brehon Laws.” The Brehon Academy (blog), May 7, 2023.

Copyright 2023 - Mike Guarneri All Rights & Lefts Reserved

1080 Old Country Road, Westbury, NY 11590
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